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“It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it.”

- Nelson Mandela


For 10+ years, I toggled between two groups: clients who were running luxury fashion brands (and signing my invoices), and people living in some our world's most challenging conditions (and scrubbing my soul). 


Functioning in both realms not only tested and honed my skills in delivering projects, it helped me comprehend how our collective humanness is the actual energy that drives the world. 


I am 100% convinced of this. 

In 2016, seeking to merge these polar experiences onto a singular course, I obtained a master's in International Business in France.  The supportive, stimulating environment also became a laboratory for a new social enterprise, Common Thread.

While the below experiences might not read on a CV, they were essential to the person I've become, how I see situations, relate to others and the wider world today, and the spirit by which I hope to accelerate in the future.

Thank you for reading.

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CommonThread / PeopleTapp


This social enterprise addresses the effects of rapid urbanisation by focusing on community-based upgrading of informal settlements (slums). 

Our first product, PeopleTapp, is a mobile app that enables local building project teams to assess, track and share the environmental, social and economic impacts that their projects bring.  This helps them legitimize their ability to secure donor funding, and raises the bar in listening and responding to true community needs. 


The broader intent is to foster global knowledge exchange of best practices and local action.

PeopleTapp received the Montpellier Business School Foundation's 2018 Responsible and Innovative Award. 

I also had the honor to present to Nobel prize recipient, Muhammad Yunus (2019), founder of the microfinance model of lending to the poor.


Currently, the Proof of Concept version is halted, with hope to resume in 2022.

AgriHood 1.0


If the design of our communities can make us feel isolated, then design can also make us feel more connected.

Inspired by the work of trauma researcher Dr. Bruce D. Perry, this real estate development concept was conceived as the antidote to the 'monoculture' suburban residential model. 


Preserving up to 70% of farmland, the AgriHood's purpose is to enhance our connection to the earth and each other.

Roughly 150-175 people would live in a variety of housing types which surround a covered community square with ground-level small-scale merchant spaces.


The primary modes of transportation are a tricycle, wheelchair and a walker, with group car parking positioned at the periphery under solar canopies. 

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(Click to view full size)


(Click to download research paper)

Research: the Global Housing Microfinance Sector


In the global south, up to 90% of all dwellings are self-built. 


This study across (5) global regions examined barriers and opportunities in providing construction technical assistance (CTA), a value-add service seldom offered by private sector housing microfinance organizations.  HMFIs lend in small increments according to a householder's irregular cash flows which are typical in the informal sector. 

CTA improves housing quality, which increases a householder's asset value, as well as ensures healthier, safer and more resilient livelihoods. 


The stability of a home leads to more health and education investments by families, fostering improved outcomes over generations.  Housing is indeed a catalyst for change.

Morocco: Amezrou Kasbah Restoration


In Morocco, I stumbled upon a group of artisans restoring an eroding 12th C. earthen city located on the Sahara side of the Atlas mountains on the ancient trading route between Marrakesh and Timbuktu.   


A year later, two architect colleagues from Canada joined me on an enumeration/survey exercise, in which we produced a map of the village for the purpose of increasing sustainable tourism for the town and the cooperative.


(Click for slideshow)

Rwanda: Design services as a social enterprise


IGLU was a Kigali-based social business, providing design services for private sector clients to offset pro bono time allocations serving the poorest populations. 

We collaborated with GAC (General Architecture Collaborative) in their women-built rural housing program in nearby Masoro.

I had the joy of training newly graduated architecture students in design, project management, and client services techniques.


UN HABITAT: Urban Youth Fund


My involvement with UN HABITAT, a branch of the UN system focused on the sustainable development of cities, took-on multiple pro-bono consulting roles within the Urban Youth Fund:

  • Mentored a youth-led organization in Balochistan, Pakistan working with Afghan refugee children waste pickers (2013)

  • Conducted project management training workshops for a global cohort of youth leaders (2014)

  • Co-strategized a revised global mentor program (2016)

  • Crafted the mentor-mentee component of the Urban Peace Labs program in Colombia, linking youth-led organizations with private sector mentors (2018). 


In 2018 I participated in a multi-day training course in monitoring and evaluation requirements for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN HABITAT New Urban Agenda (NUA), following a bi-annual conference on slum upgrading of urban informal settlements.


(Click for slideshow)

Sierra Leone: Kenema Government Hospital, Lassa Ward


  • I was honored to have the opportunity to work with doctors and nurses to design a low-cost, locally replicable hospital treatment ward for those afflicted with Lassa Fever and other viral hemorrhagic fevers- the first such purpose-built facility for this context. 

  • The project was funded/overseen by the US Dept. of Defense (NAVFAC) for the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health

Ghana: Community-based projects


  • In 2006, I visited the town of Mim, Brong-Ahafo, Ghana through a voluntourism trip through the Habitat for Humanity Global Affiliate program

  • I was fortunate to be able to return frequently over the years to set-up social enterprises with local members of the community

  • Eventually, this led to affiliations with other groups, including designing a non-profit orphanage outside of Kumasi, Ghana

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